Ethanol fuel to hit the market

Vivo Energy CEO Joe Muganda. [Edward Kiplimo/Standard]
Oil marketing company Vivo Energy plans to scale up the sale of ethanol fuel for cooking to low-income households.

Vivo Energy, which operates Shell-branded petrol stations, hopes to grow revenue in the wake of rising kerosene and charcoal prices.

The firm has been selling ethanol as an alternative to kerosene on a pilot basis at its Eastleigh outlet. The fuel could prove popular following a surge in the price of kerosene, traditionally used for cooking and lighting across rural and low-income urban households. The oil marketer has partnered with Koko Networks to supply the fuel and special burners that will be sold at its retail outlets.

Small units

A litre of ethanol is retailing at Sh85 while the burner will go for Sh4, 500. Consumers can, however, buy small units.

Joe Muganda, the Vivo Energy chief executive, yesterday said the company planned to roll out the product to other outlets following the Eastleigh pilot project. He said the initial batches of ethanol were made of imports, but added that they were in talks for possible partnerships with local firms that produced ethanol.

“We will increase the number of stations that are selling ethanol by between 10 and 14 over the next 18 months,” said Mr Muganda in Nairobi, when the company launched a new portfolio of diesel and petrol products that it said burn more efficiently.

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